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French President Macron has coronavirus

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and will self-isolate for seven days, his office said Thursday.

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“He will continue to work and carry out his activities remotely,” the Élysée Palace said in a statement. Macron was diagnosed following a coronavirus test, which he took when initial symptoms appeared.

Prime Minister Jean Castex, who was about to speak to the Senate Thursday morning, left the chamber upon learning the news. He took a coronavirus test, which was negative, and will take another in seven days in accordance with health rules, BFMTV reported, citing the prime minister’s office.

Macron has also met multiple EU leaders in recent days, including at a summit in Brussels last Thursday and Friday.

On Monday, he met with various leaders in Paris, including European Council President Charles Michel. Michel was informed by French authorities that he is not considered a close contact but he will go into self-isolation as a precaution, his spokesman said.

“He is tested regularly and tested negative on Tuesday,” the spokesman said.

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Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will go into self-isolation until December 24 as he had lunch with Macron on Monday, the Spanish leader’s office said.

On Wednesday, Macron hosted Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa for a working lunch and presided over the weekly Cabinet meeting. He also met with some ministers for a defense council on Tuesday.

Costa is getting a coronavirus test Thursday, Portuguese media reported. He’s not showing symptoms so far and will participate by video in a scheduled meeting on the national vaccination program, according to the reports. Costa will await the test results and medical advice on whether he needs to isolate or can go ahead with a planned trip to Africa this weekend. 

Ministers who only met Macron during the Cabinet meeting or defense council are not self-isolating or getting tested because they respected strict distancing measures, according to Elysée and ministry officials.

But Richard Ferrand, the president of the National Assembly, is self-isolating as he was sitting next to Macron at a dinner with political allies on Wednesday, Le Figaro reported.

The previous day, Macron had lunch with senior members of the French lower house of parliament, the National Assembly. But the Élysée has told those present at the lunch they were not considered close contacts of Macron as distancing measures had been observed.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who suffered serious illness as a result of the coronavirus earlier this year, was among the first world leaders to wish Macron well.

“Sorry to hear my friend @EmmanuelMacron has tested positive for coronavirus. We are all wishing you a speedy recovery,” he tweeted in English and French.

Elisa Braun, Jules Darmanin, Paul Ames and Cristina Gallardo contributed reporting.

This article has been updated.

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